The Distinguished Designer Franklin Habit

The Distinguished Designer Franklin Habit spent a little time with us at the Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird and Franklinprofilefor that we are always grateful, because he is a very busy fellow.

Franklin says he started knitting in college early 90’s and when the big revival happened where Julia Roberts put a popular face to the craft and the Stitch and Bitch books came out. About that time he began his blog. He named it Panopticon, because he writes from his view, and had initially posted also about his love of photography.

While he is thought of as a designer, he doesn’t consider himself a designer, his passion about knitting really comes through in his teaching and his presentations. He puts a lot of thought into the classes and presentations, making them fun and adventurous as well as informative and challenging. He is stunned to have students who are well-versed in Lace Knitting come to his classes on that subject because they heard and are interested in the history he’s gathered. His presentation list includes The History of the Knitting Pattern (which is a relatively new invention), Weldon’s Impractical Magic (the cool and silly look at a 19th craft publisher) and 5 Women, 5 Shawls (which is a personal sharing of the women that impacted his creative journey).

You can follow his blog also he has an active teaching schedule, and he’s active in Facebook. Here also is his designer page in Ravelry.

If you can’t possibly travel to where he’s teaching, he does have a Craftsy class (this is Marly’s link) and another one will be filmed soon! The current class shares techniques in knitting lace, both the knitted on and the edges that are knit as part of your work. He did give us the hint that the next class is NOT Knitting.  He has taught on cruises, the last one with Melissa Leapman, the next in just a few weeks from Seattle and into Alaska with Barry Klien, mentioned as something to watch for!

Another place to find Franklin is his articles with Lion Brand Yarn blog (this link is to the most recent, it happens about once a month) and in Knitty (I don’t think this was mentioned today, but it is something I watch for). He also has a project with Skacel, which sounds like a wonderful adventure. He is going to take their products and show you what happens, good or bad, when he works with it.

If you’d like to hear his previous visit from April 2013, CLICK HERE.

If you missed hearing this live it is still available as an archive: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2015/05/26/the-distinguished-designer-franklin-habit or in iTunes!


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  1. Audrey says:

    Nothing fussy about Franklin Habit. I know firsthand how fabulous of a teacher he is, and that he has a keen wit and intellect. I’m a fan. How I’d love to have access to his new Craftsy class!!!

  2. elizabethsmommy884 says:

    This was my first time listening to this podcast, but wow what an introduction. When I first clicked the link for the show notes, I thought at a glance that it said “disgruntled designer” and I said, “Hold on now, I’ve met Franklin, he doesn’t seem to be the sort to be fussy on a podcast.” A closer look at the title and I’m in agreement, ‘distinguished’ is very fitting. He’s an all around pleasure to associate with. Thanks for letting us in on the interview!

  3. Judy B. says:

    Loved listening to this podcast. I wish I could take Franklin’s newest Craftsy Class even though it won’t be about lace. I’m not fussy, whatever it is will be wonderful! Thanks for your fun and informative podcast, Marly!

  4. Elise Thomasset says:

    I enjoyed your interview with Franklin Habit and looked at his amazing designs. I am intrigued by the history and research behind his designs: completely fascinating; not at all fussy! Thanks, Marly!

  5. Bonnie Jane says:

    Franklin Habit, You are an inspiration! I am a fussy person if I can’t find my knitting needles each and every day. Thank you for sharing and for all that you do for so many knitters and crocheters and all crafty people in the world. Thank you, Marly for this interview which was a joy to listen to.

  6. DeeSadie says:

    I always enjoy male designers and knitters. Sometimes their no-fussy approach to design makes the patterns unique and easy to follow. I am considering the laura star on his blog.

  7. Trudy Drewiske says:

    Excited to be joining Franklin on the trip to Alaska and was excited to hear what classes we will get the pleasure of participating in. Really not fussy which classes, just excited to be spending time knitting.

  8. Nicole says:

    It was lovely to hear Franklin and you chatting away Marly. I was struck by the full, rich laughs you shared during this interview. Hearing you chat about his Five Women, Five Shawlbs lecture I’ll now make every effort to be there. I have made one of the shawls referenced, Franklin’s Anna shawl. Its a lovely lace number, nothing fussy though. It had an ingenious little collar to keep the nape of the neck toasty.

  9. Lynn says:

    I absolutely love listening to Franklin Habit. His non-fussy approach to knitting,crafting and life in general is truly refreshing.Thank you so much Marly for bringing such talented people to the internet waves.

  10. hotknitter says:

    I loved hearing about Franklin’s perspectives, and appreciate his un-fussy approach to fiber history.

  11. Linda says:

    Great interview with Franklin! I’m not fussy about what I win and I sure would like to win a Craftsy Class.
    Lmecoll on Ravelry

  12. Anita says:

    Marly, your podcasts are the best. I loved this interview with. Franklin Habit. If I ever get a chance to take a class with him I’ll be the first in line.. Until then there is Craftsy – which I also love. So glad that knitting is no longer perceived as a fussy craft that only old ladies do. Have a wonderful day!

  13. Louise Gingery says:

    Loved today’s guest also, wish I could be at Stitches to hear his talk. Well, I won’t be fussy about that.

  14. Mary Beth says:

    Franklin was here in Columbus, Ohio a couple weeks ago and he was not fussy at all! Loved getting to know him and learning so much from him. He taught me so much about photography, sewing, color and lace knitting. So much to do, so little time. I would love to win a free Craftsy class, I’ve taken a few of them and always learn something. Thanks so much Marly and Franklin!

  15. Janice says:

    I would be sooo excited to win a craftsy class with Franklin! I would not be fussy about which class it was…but I do love lace!

  16. Karen says:

    I look at the fine detail on Franklin’s lacework and realize that I have a long way to go…I need to be more fussy!

  17. JudyAnn says:

    I’m excited about Franklin’s new Craftsy class! I wouldn’t be fussy about winning it! I loved the first one!

  18. Jody H says:

    I’m really looking forward to Franklin’s new class! I took his Heirloom Lace Edgings class, and it was great! I especially loved all the knitted on edgings because I found the sewn on edgings a little fussy for me, but I’ve never been good at sewing.

  19. jen says:

    I’m fussy if I don’t get a regular dose of Franklin.
    The word that came to mind when listening to the interview wi Franklin is “thoughful.” Franklin is always thoughtful in the things he does, says, teaches and enjoys. It is always fun to be in one of his classes.

  20. CraftyLadyMel says:

    I love listening to Franklin. I have taken his lace class at Craftsy as well as two of yours Marly! I first heard Franklin when he recited one of his writing works on the Cast On podcast. It was hysterically funny and every time I feel fussy, I just think of that story. It was called “The Univited Guest” in case you all would like to listen to it.

  21. Karen says:

    Loved your Podcast and loved hearing more about Franklin. I have his lace Craftsy Class and look forward to something not so fussy in his “Not Lace” class.

  22. joyce says:

    This is the first time I have heard Franklin speak, so it was quite interesting to learn more about his thoughts about the yarn craft. I can picture him as a fussy knitter, but I’m sure he produces a nicely done product in the end.

  23. Nancy says:

    Marly, I thoroughly enjoyed your podcast with Franklin Habit as your guest. He is an inspiration. Now, I can’t say that I see him as fussy. But Delores? SHE has great potential to be the Queen of Fussy!

  24. Lisa Nixon says:

    I certainly would have been fussy if I had missed hearing Franklin’s podcast with the ever lovely Marly Bird.

  25. Barbara L. says:

    Franklin is a wonderful teacher. I had the pleasure of taking a class with him in Tacoma, WA at the fiber festival. He is not a fussy person and enjoys listening to his students’ ideas as well as imparting his own. I would love to win his future Craftsy class.

  26. Rachel ravelry 100Creations says:

    So enjoyed listening to this padcast. I haven’t heard much about franklin habit before, but i do love his posts from lion brand. Especially the ones were he explored a non- fussy pattern from weldon’s i believe it was. It’s knitting, not rocket science!

  27. Susan says:

    Loved the podcast. I am hoping “fussy” is not an indication of your next craftsy class. Well, I will be up for it in any case!!

  28. Charles Parker says:

    Franklin, Fussy? Na!

    I love hearing what Franklin is up to. I follow him on social networks when I can, and look forward to seeing him at the Men’s Fall Knitting Retreat. I’m still hoping to take a class from him, as I know he is a great instructor.

  29. Penny Halverson says:

    Another wonderful interview. I am going to Stitches Midwest and am looking forward to hearing Franklin. About 20 years ago, at my first Meg Swansen Knit Camp, I proclaimed that I would never knit shawls, they were too me just too fussy. As always, I am eating my words on that one. I love shawls and not because I am getting older either!!

  30. kathy b. says:

    Thanks for this great podcast, Marly. Franklin’s comment that he encourages students to be playful with techniques he teaches sounds like a blissfully not fussy fiber class experience!

  31. Michelle says:

    Fun interview. Franklin seems like a true intellect and not at all fussy! Would love to be at one of his talks that focus on the history of knitting.

  32. Sarah Short says:

    What a great podcast! Franklin is a very knowledgeable and innovated knitter. After the show, I looked up Dolores after the podcast and that is one fussy sheep!

  33. knitfantasy says:

    I have taken a few classes at my LYS with Franklin. Enroll in the craftsy class with this wonderful teacher. You will not be disappointed. You will learn so much. He has a style that isn’t fussy, but fun and full of interesting knowledge he is eager to impart.

  34. Leanne Holland says:

    This was a great interview. I am really a big Franklin fan and enjoy all his work – his designs, writing, cartoons and photography….I’m not fussy. I would love to be able to take one of his classes.

  35. liz Fox says:

    I love Franklin Habit – even if he and his designs were fussy!! A wonderful historian with one of the quickest wits in the fiber world. Heard his talk at Stitches Midwest last year and hope to attend again this year. Wonderful podcast!

  36. merrybrown says:

    I do love Franklin Habit! I got to see him give a talk about the things that people used to knit, much of it mysterious, some of it fussy. He was very entertaining

  37. Thekla says:

    Just realized I hadn’t responded! I am a bit fussy about which Craftsy classes I sign up for and Franklin’s first class is one of them! Excellent class and a lovely interview, Marly! Thank you.

  38. sjanova says:

    I’ve gotten halfway through the lace edgings class and have promised myself to finish it this summer. It’s exciting to know that he’s got another class under development!! There’s NOTHING fussy about lace. It’s just lovely and fun!

  39. Ruthie says:

    I always love hearing what Franklin has to say! I am not fussy about it at all. I would love to see Franklin live, but I would also love to watch his Craftsy class!

  40. Michelle Staeck says:

    I actually knew of Franklin Habit as a designer before hearing the podcast. Enjoyed listening to his voice and enjoyed his non-fussy way of looking at life.

  41. Lori Biamonte says:

    I taught nursery school for 25 years and in art always encouraged process over product. I was so happy to hear Franklin refer to this philosophy in knitting. I carry small projects in my bag that don’t require me to be fussy. I just enjoy the process of knitting them. I won’t be fussy about my prize either!

  42. Renee says:

    Great show with Franklin, Marly! He didn’t seem fussy to me as it’s all in the details! Loved the show!

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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Advanced projects requiring deep focus (but a big payoff, too!)